Tips for launching a social media marketing campaign

The number of Social media users is growing at a fast pace.
Social media users spend a lot of time on various social media platforms, which forces both small and big businesses to spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns.
If you are using social media for your business you should have a strategy for your marketing campaigns. You need to have an effective strategy to get the return you expect.

Here are some tips and advice to note for when you are creating a strategy:

1. Post engaging content
If you post interesting content then your followers will be more likely to click and share the content you post with their friends. You should always be posting engaging content and include a compelling call-to-action. If you want your followers to share a post, then ask them.If you want them to click on a link, then tell them to “click here.”
The more customers you have, the more money you are able to make. If you post dull and tedious content on your social profiles, then your followers will not engage with your content and they will not be likely to click. You may even lose followers

2. Pay attention to data
You need to know what actions to take or what types of strategy may work out and to be able to do this you need to analyse the data.
You can get required information easily and quickly. There are plenty of studies and tools that can provide you with real-time data on your performance. For example, Facebook offers an “Insights” section on pages that offers a variety of statistics on the performance of particular pages.

3. Be careful with content
Always remember that what you share on your social media accounts contributes to your brand image. Whether you share your story on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts, you need to make sure you make a good impression and post something of value.
Do not only promote your products and your company. Instead you could write a blog post about an interesting topic related to your niche and then post a link with a creative call-to-action on your Facebook page. You could also post interesting “behind the scenes” moments to help your customers connect with your business on a more personal level.

4. Stay on topic
Point number 3 already mentioned that you need to cover interesting topics that relate to your product and brand. While you do that, it is important to stay on topic and try to keep the information you post on your social profiles relevant to your niche.

5. Posting engaging content only
If you post interesting content your followers will be more likely to click and share the content you post with their friends. You should always be posting engaging content and include a compelling call-to-action. If you want your followers to share a post, then ask them to do so. If you want them to click on a link, then tell them to “click here.”
The more customers you have, the more money you are able to make. If you post dull and tedious content on your social profiles, then your followers will not engage with your content .

6. Do not avoiding negative feedback
There will always be people who provide negative feedback no matter what you do. Don’t ignore it! accept the criticism and carefully reply back. For example, you should thank the individual who posted the feedback for pointing out the particular issue or problem they are having and address the problem in a professional manner.

Do not expect to get instant success of your campaign as you may need to experiment before you manage to get a good return from your social media marketing efforts.

 

www.businesshands.co.uk

 

Whcih social media platform for your business

Its generally known that to increase your brand presence, you need to be active on social media .
While that may be true, unless your company has a dedicated social media coordinator, finding the time to maintain every platform out there can be extremely time consuming.

So which Social media platform is better for your business??

The best social media platforms for business
If your company is just starting out on the Web and need to pick a few social media networks to rule over, here is our guide to choosing the best platform(s) for your business, and how to make the most out of them.

1. Twitter
Who should use it: Everyone – from individuals to the largest multinational corporations
What to share: Start, join, and lead conversations; interact directly with brands and customers
Post frequency: minimum of one time a day to multiple times a days
Twitter is the dominant democracy of the social-sharing economy. Relevancy, personality and brevity are the keys to making your voice heard.
Useful tools: Buffer lets you stockpile and schedule content in advance. Tools like this allow for posting around-the-clock, increasing the likelihood of snagging followers beyond your country or time zone without being working 24/7.

2. Instagram
Who should use it: Lifestyle, food, fashion, personalities and luxury brands
What to share: Share visual content- photos and short videos
Post frequency: Once a day
Instagram invites brands with visual content into their customers’ zone-out time. Create and post content accordingly.
You’ll want to experiment with your own userbase and followers, but it’s likely that the best time to target your posts will be to get to your audience’s eyes during their commutes, nights, and weekends.
Useful tools: Use the integrated sharing functions for Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter to repurpose your Instagram posts for more shareable media. Include a relevant hashtag to become more discoverable on Instagram and to track engagement across sites where you share the content.

3. LinkedIn
Who should use it: Businesses (especially B2B service providers), Recruiters and Job-Seekers
What to share: Job-postings, company descriptions, employer/employee research
Post frequency: Two to four times a week
Keep a company description and profile page mindful of keyword SEO, but your network of employees and contacts is your most valuable (and potentially damaging) content on LinkedIn. Make sure people in your organization are appropriate, professional and on-brand. There’s nowhere online where employers and employees are more intimately linked.

4. Facebook
Who should use it: Everyone and their cats (literally)
What to share: All types of online content, events, ads
Post frequency: Once or twice a day
Consider advertising or paying to promote your page on Facebook, but don’t make your brand’s Facebook page itself look like an advertisement. Inspire conversations and shares – and be sure to ask questions.
Of all social networks, Facebook is best equipped to share responses to a post asking a question or sparking conversation.
There’s no shortage of options for analyzing Facebook data so you can track the success of your content .
Useful tools: URL shortener Bitly does more than just shrink down links. Each time you convert a link, Bitly offers stats on clicks generated from that specific link, making it helpful to see how much traffic is brought directly from sharing to Facebook.

5. YouTube
Who should use it: Brands with video content and ads, anyone giving explanations or sharing expertise
What to share: Short (less than 1.5 minutes) video content
Post frequency: Once or twice a week
Google treats its own well, and YouTube is the prime example of this fact. YouTube videos feature prominently in Google search results.
Keep this in mind when naming and describing videos.
Useful tools: A subscription widget or link to your website can help convert single views into long-term influence.

6. Google+
Who should use it: Brands already on the other major social networks, B2B networking, bloggers
What to share: More formal and professional than Facebook; Hashtags have major search value
Post frequency: Once or twice a day
As Google’s proposed alternative to Facebook, keywords and search engine optimization are central to the appeal of Google+. Link often to content on your own website to direct this search boost where you want it most.

7. Pinterest
Who should use it: Fashion, food, design, travel and anything DIY;
What to share: Creative, visual content
Post frequency: Minimum of twice a day
Users pin and re-pin posts to Pinterest Boards, which naturally push the content on Pinterest into categories. This makes easily-categorized content most apt for sharing, and wisely-chosen keywords essential to successful post captions.
Pinning and re-pinning frequently is necessary to appear within current results for a given search term, regardless of how popular your content is.

 

Businessshands

7 Tips For Developing A Social Media Strategy

Most consumers are looking to engage and connect with their favourite brands on social media.
Developing a stucessful social media marketing strategy will help increase your brand awareness, followership, and drive traffic to your website .

Here are 7 tips to help you with your social strategy in order to build your business presence.

1. Who is your target audience

Knowing and understanding your target audience is incredibly important to your digital marketing strategy. Decide who you are aiming to reach so your efforts will be aimed at engaging that audience.

2. Use a Blog on Your Company’s Website

Whether you use your blog used for news and updates, sharing valuable knowledge or expressing an opinion about a relevant topic in the industry, every company should be using a blog on their website.

3. Know Your Social Media Goals

Do you want to drive traffic to your website or build leads?
Every post that you publish and share on your social networks should have a goal, and purpose.

4. Share Engaging Content

By sharing engaging content– offering helpful advice, tips, and expertise, you are working to position your brand as a leader in your field.
This same concept applies to your social media marketing strategy – the goal is not to solely promote your products but to share value so your followers view your brand as a valuable source that they can turn to for assistance.

5. Be Social

Just don’t share your content and hope people will interact with your business.
Comment, Like and share your follower’s content. When fans respond to your content, highlight them in the comments.
These small and personal touches can give you an edge with your audience.

6. Customize Your Company’s Facebook and Twitter Page

Is your company’s Facebook and Twitter page a fair reflection of your brand, products and services? Use a customized background to create a truly memorable Profile page.

7. Test your results

You need to test your efforts to ensure what you’re doing is actually working. A social media management tool like Hootsuite will give you access to analytics tools which enable you to get a better understanding of the shares and content which are generating the most engagement and those that are not.
This is invaluable information, as you’ll be able to determine which content to focus on and enable you to provide more to your audience.

 

Businesshands

Businesshands brief introduction to SEO

This is a brief introduction to SEO.

Businesshands aims to inform you what SEO is, but not to teach you how to become an SEO expert.
If you do your own SEO you will still likely want to chat in SEO forums and read books on the topic before starting. Many of the printed books can go quickly out of date, but if you ask around there will likely be at least a couple good guides .

What is SEO?
SEO is the art or science of gaining top search engine placement for relevant keyword phrases through making search engines believe your site is more relevant than your competition’s websites.

What are Keywords?
Keywords are terms or (more often) phrases you would expect someone to search for to find your website. With SEO you pick your keywords and create pages focused on them. You can only focus each page on a specific keyword phrase or few specific keywords. One of the best tricks to SEO is to gain traffic using many pages focused on specific terms vice focusing on broad single word terms. Specific terms are usually easier to rank well for and often have a higher conversion rate (since a longer query is often associated with greater searcher intent).

Using the Correct Domain Name
Acquiring links is important to rank well for competitive terms. When possible you want the links pointing at you to use your keywords in them.  It is usually a good idea to use your keywords in your domain name when possible.

SEO Content
Having interactive, unique and engaging content is extraordinary for not only your site guest but also for search engines.
The more effective, informative and interesting content you have, the more probable that your guests will stay and look around on your site. Furthermore, it influences search engines to put a greater numbers of your website pages in their search indexes.
To know how SEO works, you will need to know how to use content marketing in an SEO-friendly manner. To do so, you may begin by just making blog posts on your site, and as your audiences develop, you can grow your content to suit your business.
• Here are the different kinds of quality content that you can offer –
1. Blog Posts
2. Articles
3. E-Books
4. Tutorials and How To Guides
5. Slides
6. Videos
7. Podcasts, etc.

Gaining Top Rankings does not happen overnight
Your main competitor is likely to have been around for a long time and built many links  up over time.
Yahoo! usually shows more links to your site than Google does, and each search engine will likely show some links the other is not showing;
Search engines know of and evaluate many more links than they show using a backlink check. Even though all links do not display, checking backlink can help you estimate the popularity of a site.

How to Build Links
Register your site in the major directories such as the Yahoo! Directory . I also register my clients websites in many of the smaller directories and niche specific directories. Search engines often do not count links that go through redirects, so before spending money on a listing you will want to check if the directories provide static links.

  • Write press releases and articles and syndicate them on other sites. Link back to your site using your keywords when possible) in the article signature block.
  • Ask friends, product manufacturers, product distributors, and other business partners to link to your site.
  • Buy advertising from related websites
  • Sponsor sites and get them to link to you.

 Businesshands – We hope you enjoyed reading this article

Common branding mistakes

 

Here’s a quick summary of the most common branding mistakes  and some brand-building advice.

  • Not taking the time to develop a brand platform

A brand is a set of perceptions that live in the mind of the customer. If you haven’t even identified what perceptions you want to own with your target audience, how on earth do you expect to build those perceptions? The first step is deciding what those perceptions, known as brand pillars, should be:
a) they must be meaningful – something that the target customer wants
b) they must be credible – something your brand can own
c) at least one of them should make your brand different from the competition.

  • Your brand is not focused tightly enough and you re not communicating consistently .

Branding is often about sacrifice and letting go of the desire to appeal to everyone .
Do a good job of clearly and consistently communicating your brand messages in multiple ways. Keep your message simple and the chances of owning it are much greater.

  • Not having a Plan B

There are many businesses that think a brand is something you establish and then it takes care of itself. You should constantly refine and revise your offerings to deliver better quality and adapt to the changing needs of the market. Not all branding strategies will work the first time. In those instances, you need to be ready with a second plan to ensure that recovery is immediate.
Managing a brand is not easy. But you must always understand that your business is more than just its products and services. Success depends on the way you shape the experience of your customers. This is what defines your brand identity.

  • Not realizing the importance of brand cascading

It’s a common mistake is to lose sight of the fact that a big part of a brand is the people behind the brand. If your people don’t know how to live and breathe the brand, how do you expect the brand message to get through to the target audience? Brand cascading sessions – in which employees brainstorm ways they can help bring the brand to life in what they do each day – are critical to strong and consistent brand delivery at all points of contact with the target. These sessions not only serve the purpose of communicating the brand essence to employees, they also involve the employees and get them thinking creatively about how they can help bring the brand to life in their specific areas. It also helps get everyone, regardless of individual roles, in the mindset of serving as brand ambassadors and not simply as employees.

  • Not focusing on first impressions

There’s no logic in trying to get an audience before you’ve established what your brand is about. Branding is the first step to entering the marketplace, and you should prioritize it before trying to make money. The first impression is always the first point of contact between your brand and the customer

Businesshands

How to make the most of a quieter period in your business

 

Its the start of the new year, phones are quieter out and there’s little activity in the office, what should you be doing with your business to make the most of this quiet period ?

Here are some suggestions…

Do a review of your business performance so far this year
Go deep into your figures to really understand what’s happening in your business. How is it performing against last year? Are you spending more in some areas than you should be? Are the buying trends of your customer base changing? Are you in front or behind where you were at this time last year in terms of sales? Why is that?

Review / revise (or even create) your business strategy for the rest of the financial year
No matter how small your business is, you should already have a well-developed business strategy in place. Ask yourself, what do you need to do, to make this year the best year ever? What is stopping your business getting more sales through the door? Are there events you could be attending, what about networking, what about your marketing / advertising?

Define / refine / streamline your customer journey
How do you currently get a new customer through the “door”? What does it take to move a prospect from an exchange of business cards through to an exchange of contracts… or from a new follower on Twitter to a new and valuable customer? Do you have a defined sales process in place? What is it? Is it effective and could it be better?

Take some time to bond with and train your team
Of course, you could continue to push you team to make hundreds of sales calls a day but the reality is, the summer months are the least effective time for many organisations to acquire new business. That means it’s the best time to take days out for training, team building and refocusing of minds for the months ahead.

Review your suppliers
Are you really getting the best deal on your purchases? It’s time to take stock of your suppliers and make sure they are still the best ones to take your business forward. If you can find cheaper or better elsewhere it’s time to renegotiate your contracts or switch to something else. Don’t just do this for physical stock either… think software services, IT support contracts, office cleaning and anything else that’s provided to you as a service.

Get your marketing in order
It’s time to do a deep dive review of your marketing. Do you have core messages that you’re delivering to your customers? Are they still relevant? Are you still pushing your messages out to the right places? Analyse your marketing in depth. Which bits are driving traffic, creating enquiries or closing sales? Which ones are adding no value to the business at all and can be stopped? Where are you wasting money? What could be done better?

Focus on your own well-being
If you’re a business owner or a senior leader within an organisation, now is the time to plan some downtime, take some time off to re-energise and reconnect with hobbies you once had, friends you haven’t seen and places you used to go. Happy and relaxed people make better decisions and are able to get more done so take some time off whilst you can.

 

Businesshands

 

Plan your 2018 end of year target with this to-do list

 

With the Christmas holidays now coming to a close, it’s time to turn our attention once again to business and helping you get more of it through the door. With that in mind, here’s a helpful to-do list to help you meet your 2018 target.

Set your objectives
Sit down and confirm your objectives in writing. What is your revenue target? How many sales does that equate to? What must the average sale value be for you to achieve your target? Define lower and higher sales value thresholds and calculate how many sales of each you would need to still achieve your goals. Don’t just pick numbers out of thin air – use historical data from previous sales to understand your average transaction size.

Plan how to maximise your average sales value
There are two ways to increase sales revenue.
Increase the average deal size
Increase the number of sales you make

If your revenue targets are looking challenging or quite simply, if you want a better chance of hitting your targets – you’ll want to put a strategy in place to maximise the value of every single transaction. Look at the portfolio of products or services you sell and ask yourself…
Can I cross-sell purchases of product/service A and also sell them product/service B?
Can I upsell them from product/service A to a product/service A+
Can I create a value bundle by combining a selection of my products to increase the overall transaction size? (the profit per item may be less, but the overall profit will better)

If you have customers that pay on a monthly basis, can you create an offer to persuade them to purchase a years’ worth of product/service up front?
Plan who you are going to be selling to
You’ll need a separate strategy for each of the following:
New customers who you want to sell in to
Existing customers who you want to sell more to
Existing customers are traditionally “low hanging fruit”. They already know and trust your brand and you simply need to get them to spend more. Think time-limited money-off vouchers, seasonal related campaigns (Halloween, the day the clocks go back, Diwali etc.), weather / news related offers and general “thanks for being a loyal customer” deals.
For new customers, ask yourself:
Where am I going to find them?
What am I going to do when I do find them?
What is my “multi-touch” strategy to bring them down the sales funnel (people rarely buy from a company the first time they see / hear from them so you’ll need to have a consistent marketing strategy in place to build trust before a sale will take place)

Build your strategy
No single activity on its own will “bring in the goods” so you need to think about your sales and marketing mix. Will you need to make outbound sales calls? Will you be writing regular content (this is pretty much a “must” for all businesses)? What does your social media campaign look like? Will you be using paid advertising (AdWords / Social PPC)? What about social and blogger outreach? Don’t forget email marketing. That’s a lot of things to think about and a lot to figure out if you’re to make it a success.

Decide if you have time or if you need help
There’s no point in doing the above half-heartedly.  You need to commit serious time and energy to both the planning and implementation stages if you’re going to pull this off. Random unstructured content or social media posts don’t work. Neither does the occasional half-baked sales email, so if you think you can “wing it” as and when you have a bit of spare time, let us save you the effort by assuring you that challenging revenue targets cannot be achieved unless you put your sales and marketing strategy at the very top of your agenda – day in, day out until the end of the year.

If you don’t have the time, the skill-set or the inclination to do this in-house, that’s where we come in. Here at businesshands we offer a comprehensive outsourced marketing department service which includes everything from in-depth marketing strategy through to content creation, social media, email campaign management and much more besides.
Want to know more? Contact us this week on 0207 458 4788 to get you sales and marketing strategy in motion and don’t leave it a moment more. They say time is money and in this case, the greater the delay in starting your strategy – the greater the loss in revenue to your business before the end of the year.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Where does your business measure on the social media scale

 

Someone once said to me “to understand how to do something well – you need to understand what good looks like” and he was right. Only when you know “what good looks like” can you put a structured plan in place to help you achieve it. So in today’s blog, we’re going to introduce you to what good looks like in the world of social media and give you the opportunity to understand where your business sits on the social media scale.  You’ll find a handy graphic above  illustrating your social media readiness.

Goals and Channel Integration
One of the first things to note about social media, is that it’s not just about posting messages and following people. If you’re going to do social media well, you first need to understand why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve from it.
Social media is part of the customer journey. A person finds and follows your company on social media, then they see an interesting post from you and click on it to get to your website. Next (hopefully) you’ve got some kind of call to action or sign-up form and from there (if you’re really good) not only will you receive an enquiry or sale, but your visitor will also be fed into your e-newsletter list or a set of automated mailers. By putting this structure in place, it helps you to understand what posts are good for social media and what posts aren’t so good. Having an endless stream of links to articles on other websites for example (as many organisations do) is not going to add any value to your business.

Community Management
The next key takeaway in this article is that social media is a 2-way communication platform. That means you need to be encouraging conversations and watching for and responding to your followers if they decide to communicate with you. If you’re really good – you’ll be actively searching the social media world for mentions of your organisation and proactively involving yourself in those conversations.

Content planning
Put your hands up if you have a 1-year content plan in place… anyone? What about 6 months… or 3 months? Ok – last chance, how about 1 month?
The chances are, when you think of social media, you think of short posts and images – but the reality is that the majority (and most successful) of posts contain links to articles. If you’re not writing your own blog / regular article – then your only option is to post links to articles on other websites and that immediately throws your highly effective customer journey out of the window.
Devising and creating regular content is critical to the success of your social media. The further you plan your content in advance, the more strategic it can become and the more value it will deliver to your organisation.

Paid Social Media Advertising
If we think back to the customer journey – perhaps the most critical part of it is to make sure you get found in the first place and that’s where paid social media advertising comes in. Social media advertising is hugely powerful, allowing you to target specific age groups, interests, geographical locations and even times of the day. Not only that, but you can set goals tied into your advertising. Do you want to acquire more followers, increase web traffic, get app downloads or increase newsletter sign-ups? Anything is possible. Here at Business Hands, we put a strong emphasis on social media paid advertising because we believe it offers better targeting options, better results and better value than traditional PPC (pay per click) methods through platforms like Google AdWords

Evaluation
Lastly and probably the least practiced – evaluation is the most value-add part of the social media journey. Let’s equate being a social media manager to a farmer. To get a high yield from your social media you need to invest in the right tools, you’ll need to try different strategies, you’ll need to nurture your crop (your community) and you’ll need to measure and evaluate everything you do. With the right technology in place, it very quickly becomes clear what is working and what is not and as time goes on you can fine tune your social media feeds to maximise audience engagement, drive website traffic and most importantly – increase sales.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction into what good social media looks like. You’ll find a helpful graphic below to help you plan to take your social media to the next level and obviously we’d love to help you achieve that.

Business Hands offers fully tailored content, social media and email marketing packages for every size of business at very competitive prices. To find out how we can help your business, contact us today on 0207 458 4788.

Businesshands.

Handy blogging tips

You have now decided that you would like have a blog or to write some regular content for your website. You don’t know where you’re going to find the time to do it and you’ve no idea what you’re going to write about but the important thing is, you’re going to do it… at some point!.

Sound familiar…? Then here’s some handy blogging tips to help you get started.

What should I write about
This is the first and biggest stumbling block. There you are, allocating a couple of hours in your diary to writing your first piece – then when you come to sit down, your mind is as blank as the screen in front of you… so what should you write about that people will actually read?
A good idea is to make a note during the week of any great articles you read which you think might help or influence the topic of your blog post / article. Here at businesshands – we keep a notepad file in a shared location and copy and paste the URL of any good articles into it, to review when we come to writing our own content.
We’ll also write down any ideas we have during the week, no matter how random so that when it comes to the time for writing – there’s plenty of material to kick start the writing process

Be consistent – diarise your writing time
The time you can dedicate to blogging will obviously depend on your resources but it’s vital to make a commitment to blog consistently – even if its once a month . Set reoccurring appointments in your diary and honour them as you would any other business activity.

Think of the bigger picture before you start to write
One of the bonuses of writing regular content is that it can help with your website optimisation. That means it can improve the chances of your website showing up on the first page of Google when people search for a particular search term. Your job is to think about what those search terms might be so that you can begin to include them in your posts going forward.
Think beyond the type of company you are (i.e accountant London) and think instead of the problems you solve – for example “how to fill in a tax return”. You might want to make that a blog in it’s own right or at least have the word tax return within an article a number of times.
The truth is, if you start to think about the problems that your target audience is facing – you can build a content strategy entirely around this and that means you’ll struggle less on a weekly basis to figure out a topic for your post.

Understand the overall objective
Apart from website optimisation, the main reason for producing content is to increase the number of visitors to your website, which in turn you hope will increase enquiries and drive sales. With that in mind, simply placing a blog post on your website and waiting for someone to pop along and take a look is not a good strategy – you’ll need to promote your article or blog post. This can be done through social media, pay-per-click campaigns, email marketing and a range of other products and services. The goal is to ensure as many relevant people as possible click on the link to your content and visit your website.

TOP TIP: Don’t just post your article once through social media. You can publish your articles around 10 times over the course of 3 months using slightly different titles and imagery to engage with different people.

Make your articles visually engaging
The use of quality imagery is vital to the success of your article. Web users are fickle people and short on time. Articles with images draw 94% more views than articles without.
To add further clout – make sure you choose a short catchy headline. Remember that readers are likely to share your article if they like it and a short headline means more room for them on twitter to share their comments.

Measure your results
This is crucial if you’re to improve the success of your articles going forward. If you think back to your objectives, the core goals were probably website optimisation, an increase in website visitors and an increase in enquiries / sales.

Tools
To measure the popularity of your posts you can use the in-built analytics tools included in all of the major social media platforms. They will tell you how many people have looks at your post and who has liked, favourite and reposted it.
And lastly, to measure the amount of traffic that has come to your website and the behaviour of the visitors once they arrive – the best tool by far is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool and provides invaluable information about how visitors interact with your website so you can take advantage of this in future blog posts.

Conclusion
Finding the time to write and creating content of high enough quality are key hurdles when it comes to the success of a blog and that’s where businesshands content marketing services can help. We offer  monthly to weekly blog packages. You recieve a well researched, high quality 600-word blog post and this can be combined with our popular social media management services to give your organisation a great value, professional and productive online presence.
To learn more, contact us today on 0207 458 4788 or email info@businesshands.co.uk.

Businesshands

 

A Learners Guide To SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and in short, it’s a way of helping your website come up higher on the rankings . This means when a person searches for products or services that you offer on sites like Google, Bing or Yahoo (which are known as search engines).

You probably already knew that, but what you and many other people don’t know is what you’re getting when you buy SEO services from an agency and how you can measure its success. Look on a typical website for an SEO agency and the offerings are not exactly easy to understand for a learner.
There will be  somewhere between 3 and 5 packages with fantastical names like “superboost”  but try and find out what that actually means in real terms and you might be hard-pushed to find the answer.
So  as a company that’s offers SEO, we’d like to give you the knowledge to make an informed choice about (i) whether SEO should be a priority for your business  (ii) what’s included in your SEO services and (iii) how you measure if your SEO services are working.

Let’s start…
is it onsite or offsite?
Typically, SEO services are categorised into onsite and offsite services. Onsite services are any services that are done directly on your website. This could be improvements to your website content or to the page titles and background data (known as metadata) which Google and other search engines see when they’re looking for the right page.
Offsite refers to any SEO work that does not take place on your website. This is typically focused around getting links to your website placed on other websites.

what’s first?
The first step with any SEO service is to complete an SEO audit. This allows an SEO agency (and the client) to understand the current state of the website and where there is room for improvements. The audit should look at the structure as well as the optimisation of pages, content and images.

what’s next?
Next is the Keyword and Competitor Analysis phase. Here, an agency will be taking the search terms that you would like to be found under, and analyse the online world to understand how many other organisations are competing for the same terms. From this, your agency will be able to produce recommendations for search terms that can be successful within your budget.

do you know how much traffic is currently visiting your website?  
The ultimate aim with SEO is to increase the number of visitors that naturally find your website through a search on Google (or Yahoo or Bing). It goes without saying then – that a good way of measuring the success of your SEO is to understand the volume of traffic that is coming to your website now, so that when you start the SEO service you are able to compare the results at a later stage.
Install Google Analytics as a priority.  Your SEO agency should also provide you with a report before they being any activities which details your current Google ranking.

SEO– the core offering
So we’ve talked about what happens before your SEO service begins. But if you choose to move forward with an SEO service – what is actually getting done? Here’s a very brief overview:
Your website will be optimised. This means the content, the page titles, the headers, the images, the background data and more will be optimised to help your website become more visible on search engines.
Your agency will start building links to your website on other websites (known as backlinks). This sounds a bit odd I know, but (very generally) the more links that point to your website – the higher your website will rank (it’s a lot more complicated than that in reality). All websites across the world are graded and a link from a higher “grade” website has more weighting than a “lower grade” website. The types of links and the speed at which the links appear also have an impact on your ranking and this is where a good SEO agency can differentiate this information.

IMPORTANT ADVICE– Don’t be tempted to spend your days posting links to your website on hundreds of other random websites in the hope of improving your SEO. Likewise, don’t employ the services of any individual or company who promises to provide “backlinks” cheaply for you. Links added in the wrong way or on the wrong sites can actually damage your SEO and you could even be blacklisted from Google itself. That’s an expensive mistake to make!

Back to the core offering – the final part of a standard SEO package is regular, high quality content. For your website to remain relevant and improve it’s ranking, you or your agency will need to write and publish a new blog post or article on a regular basis. The content will need to be optimised for your chosen search terms and distributed.

what about social media?
Social media plays an important role in your SEO although it’s not generally seen as part of the core offering.
Social media is a great way to distribute your regular content to a wider audience. Not only will that drive more people to your website, but your target audience may like your content so much, they decide to host a link to it on their own website, helping to further improve your website ranking.
Not all SEO agencies are good at social media so you may need to pass that responsibility to another agency or (and a much better option) find an agency that is good at both (like Businesshands!) .

and the conclusion…
Who could forget the all-important reporting and analytics. How will you measure the success of your SEO?  Your SEO agency should provide you with a regular report detailing their activities and the effects this has had on your ranking and you’ll also have Google Analytics installed so you can compare the number of website visitors now to when you first started.
So there we go. Hopefully we’ve shed some light on how SEO works and how you should work with an SEO agency.

If you would like to learn more about businesshands SEO services, pick up the phone and call a member of our team on 0207 458 4788 today.